Are you investing your time or spending it? Is this something you have even thought of before? If not, you should. As Roger Hamilton stated in Wink and Grow Rich,
“When you invest your time in yourself, it is time invested on your health, on quality activities that enrich your life. New experiences and greater energy and vitality that make you stronger every day.”
Time is an asset in our life that we should value more than money. Once wasted, we can always earn more money. Yet, time wasted is lost forever. Once we understand the importance of time, wealth seems to follow.
So how do we invest our time? And how can we visualize it?
We can do this by using a method that was originally developed to calculate an employer’s payroll, a method called Timesheets. However, let’s not look at Timesheets as a simple time card or punch card. Instead, think of them as Productivity Boosters. Think of them as your own personal Life Dashboard. Let’s look at some different types of Timesheets, then we will take a look at how to use them.
Now let’s take a look at how to create your Life Dashboard.
Creating Your Life Dashboard
It doesn’t matter if we are developing a Timesheet for our business or our personal life, we must get better at investing our time. Here is a simple way to use a Timesheet.
1. Pick the tool that suits you
Find an approach that you will stick with.
Easiest way: Microsoft Excel
Here you can get creative and create your own Timesheet application.
This is an easy to use iOS, Android, Linux, or Windows application for tracking time. You can use this app for free or you can upgrade to the Pro version. Some of the free features include: tracking reminders and time, creating a timeline, a team dashboard, a Pomodoro timer, and project management features.
Timely is an app that is great for turning your calendar into a time tracker. It is available on iOS, Apple Watch, Android, and Windows applications. This app is free with a Pro version available as well.
Here we have a web-based Timesheet designed for team management. Everhour allows teams to seamlessly integrate project management tools, such as: Asana, Trello, Basecamp, GitHub, JIRA, or Pivotal Tracker. Additionally, you can create custom reports, task dashboards, and watch in real time with a live dashboard. This is a great option if you are looking for a technological upgrade from Excel. Everhour is free to use with a Pro version available for upgrade.
2. Use a Timer
Tasks always appear to be more manageable when we break them into chunks. Similarly, by breaking time into bite-sized chunks, we can accurately track time spent on every activity. Additionally, you must use a timer. If a timer is not built into the app you are using, then you must use a separate timer.
3. Review your personal data
Start looking for time traps that are taking away productivity. The only way to identify a time trap is to track your time which is your personal data.
A Timesheet allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our time. Just as an online banking account allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our money, a Timesheet helps us visualize how we spend our time. We all know that we should invest more of our money. Time is no different. In the end, we are all the product of our choices in life. Using an analogy from Wink and Grow Rich, think of a watering can,
“The more you sprinkle it, the more you grow. Directions for use: Apply, Rinse, Repeat.”
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